5 Bridal Beauty Tips: Glow in Your Gown With These Five Body Care Tips

Published in: Skin Care

This post is part of a series sponsored by Dove® ClearTone™ Deodorant.

It’s that time of year when knots are being tied, and many brides are slipping into strapless dresses. Yes, it’s wedding season!


I wore a strapless gown when El Hub made an honest woman out of me, which — wow! I can’t believe that was six years ago… It feels like yesterday! And I remember being a little nervous back then about baring so much skin.

If you’re planning a trip down the aisle and have your heart set on a strapless gown, consider these bridal beauty tips to get your arms, shoulders, neck and back in tip-top shape for the big day.

1. Glow on, exfoliate!

A gentle exfoliating scrub sloughs away dead skin cells, leaving you with a gorgeous full-body glow. I always keep a gentle scrub in my shower and use it every couple days. After rinsing, I like to follow it up with a rich moisturizer.

In a pinch, try mixing a small amount of granulated sugar with your shower gel.

No, really! 🙂 It’s a cheap, pretty effective way to get your scrub on.

2. Remember residue removal

Got body acne (it’s no fun)? Removing hair conditioner residue from your shoulders, chest, neck and back may help reduce breakouts.

I used to wash my hair and bod, and then condition and rinse. Now, after conditioning and rinsing my hair, I twist it up into a bun, clip it in place, and wash my bod with a shower gel, taking care to remove any remaining conditioner residue on my skin.

3. Here comes the sun (screen), little darlin’

I’m not gonna nag. I know you’re really good about wearing sunscreen every day on your face, so this is just a gentle reminder to remember your neck, chest and arms.

Even if you don’t plan to spend the day outside, your skin still gets some sun through the windows in the car and at the office.

And if you haven’t looked lately, check the expiration dates on your sunscreens. They become less effective after they’ve expired.

4. shim·mer | verb \ˈshi-mər\ to shine with a soft tremulous or fitful light

On your wedding day, apply a shimmery highlighting lotion to your neck, shoulders and arms before you slip into your dress, and you’ll glow, glow, glow.

I like lotions with a hint of glimmer over products packed with glitter because I think they’re a little more elegant for the occasion, but hey, if you’re doing a Vegas-themed wedding, by all means, go for the glitter!

Brides on a budget, here’s a quick DIY version: apply a few drops of highlighter to your favorite body lotion.

Just in case, though, whichever route you choose, take it on a test run first with a white tank top well before the wedding to make sure it won’t leave any marks or stains.

5. Push ‘em up

Okay, so this isn’t technically a skincare tip, but I think it bears mentioning because it really helped boost my confidence in my strapless dress.

Push-ups. I’m serious! I did a ton of them over the months leading up to the wedding, and you know what? That tiny bit of extra muscle definition gave me and my spaghetti arms a big boost of confidence to rock that strapless dress.


I don’t naturally have a lot of upper body strength, and when I started doing them, I wasn’t strong enough to push myself up without my knees on the floor. Eventually, though, I was able to do them from the full plank position.

Next up: the one-handed variety! Yeah, right. 🙂 Maybe by my 10-year anniversary.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Advah says:

    Wow Karen, thank you for sharing those photos – you look gorgeous and glowing! They’re absolutely lovely. 🙂 (also, I’m in love with your hairdo and the flowers)

    Would you have any suggestion for dealing with the pesky KP on my arms? (sorry, TMI!) I tried urea lotion and it did nothing. Might be worth trying those anti-body acne moves you mentioned..

    • I know I’m not Karen, but DermaDoctor (available at Sephora) makes a special KP lotion and scrub. It doesn’t eliminate it completely but it did help reduce the appearance of it. I also like to use a sunless tanning lotion because the darker the skin, the less the KP will be visible.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi! I’ve been struggling from KP for my whole life, and I was always looking for new things to “get rid” of it. Nothing YET has made it go away completely but aveeno lotion and their moisturizing body wash combined with a really hot shower helps it soften up.

  2. Chelsea says:

    you look beautiful and so happy in your wedding photos 🙂

    Sunscreen is so important! I’m a redhead, so I have to be diligent because I burn and turn freckly, but it’s important for everyone! I was in the south of France last summer, and you can tell that some of the ladies on the beach spend all their time laying out, because the skin on their chest and arms is crepe-y, damaged, and dotted with sun spots.

  3. Wendy says:

    Awww how sweet of you to share your wedding pictures. You looked beautiful.

    Would love to hear more on sunscreens for neck and arms. I’m looking for something that doesn’t leave white streaks on my NC25-30 skin and rub off on my clothes.

  4. chudy says:

    You looks so funny with you …family?
    I’m glad to see you like this, but, in my opinion I prefer you wore your “city clothes”…
    well, you know
    I’m a deep city girl, and, I think Tabs understand me..;)
    anyway, looks so,so pretty

  5. Twyla says:

    There no hiding it, you were a beautiful bride!!

  6. Erin says:

    Your hair is absolutely stunning! Love the flowers and the earrings! x

  7. Nina says:

    First off – last picture is made of all kinds of awesome! 🙂 That is so you, Karen! 🙂

    And yep — totally agree about making sure that conditioner residue is rinsed off very well from the body. I used to get little pimples on my nape of all places. Weird. I edited my shower routine such that my hair is all rinsed before I wash the rest of me — and zits no more! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Haha, you know me so well, Nina! 🙂

      I’ve gotten pimples on the nape of my neck too (and also behind my ears). Isn’t it amazing how one little tweak can help change your skin? Oh, and another thing that helped: adding acne body wash into the mix once or twice a week.

      Anywho, Tuesday! How’s your week going? Mine’s been okay so far. I just got back from the dentist. No cavities, thank goodness, but it felt like I was sitting in that chair for YEARS.

  8. Bobby Thomas says:

    Hey Karen

    Great tip for people on making sure people wash off any conditioner from there body.

    I know when I don’t leave washing till last with shower gel I get pimples, but when I wash last I don’t so it’s definitely something that works.

    Love how amazing all your pics look to.

    Bobby Thomas
    Bobby Thomas recently posted … Make Your Own Home Remedies For Acne

  9. Ruchita says:

    Great tips! In fact, I could use some of these suggestions just in general for wearing dresses and sleeveless tops in the summer. Thanks for sharing pictures of your special day. You looked beautiful!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ruchita,

      Thank you!

      Yes, all these tips work for sleeves summer dresses and tops, for sure. 🙂 Is it warm out your way yet? It’s finally starting to feel like spring here in Nor Cal.

  10. Kim says:

    Awww, you’re totally adorable in those pics! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hey, hey, Kim!

      Thanks, girlfriend. How’s your week going? Anything new to report? Things on this end are good. I just got back from the dentist (YARGH), and I think I may need to treat myself to some fro-yo to soothe my frayed nerves.

      • Kim says:

        Oh, I hope you hit the fro-yo! I’m just settling back into the routine. I’ve been home since Saturday night but all I feel like doing is sleeping! Sadly, I haven’t had a chance to do that (except on the Tread Climber). It’s hockey for the boys tonight and lacrosse tomorrow night. Then the Hubs’ b’day on Friday. He’ll be out of town for a week after that for work so the hectic schedule will continue. 🙂

        You’ll be proud that we went to Sephora in NYC before we left for Italy and one of the gals in our group asked what I did for work because I seemed like such a makeup expert. I was quick to say that I’m far from an expert and I get all my info by reading your awesome blog!

  11. Chris says:

    I’m kind of crying just looking at your wedding pics. 🙂 And the skincare tips are nice too.

  12. Marina says:

    Hi Karen,
    I absolutely love all the photos!!! Thank you for posting them 🙂
    Marina recently posted … Essie Sure Shot and Poppy Razzi Nail Polish Collections for Summer 2012

  13. Katherine G says:

    Beautiful wedding pics! You look so happy and glowy 🙂 I’ve been doing a lot of push-ups, and I have to say, they work for a lot of things other than just arms. Since I’ve been able to do over 100 reps (a feat that has taken me several months to achieve), I’ve noticed that my ribs and shoulders have more definition, and well, let’s just say my pecs now function as a “free” push-up bra, lol. I get bored with regular plank push-ups, so I have to change up my reps every now and then to ascending, descending and wheelbarrow push-ups just for variety. I can also say that working on yoga (particularly poses where you put a lot of weight on your arms), and abs really helps with making plank push-ups a lot easier. Ok, that was my input on push-ups.

    Anyways, thanks for the tips 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Katherine,

      Ah, I love mixing it up with pushups! Do you ever do the kind where you bring your hands together and have your thumb and pointer finger touching so you form a triangle? Those are freaking hard!

      • Katherine G says:

        Yeah, I do those to help build triceps. They are really tough. My goal is handstand push-ups again and wheelbarrow push-ups have gotten me closer to that goal. I find when I also do protein shakes the push-ups aren’t that hard. Some people have problems with hands/wrists for push-ups with more weight behind them (like plank, triangle and wheelbarrow push-ups), so my advice is to get hand grippers (you squeeze them to build hand muscle) and do wrist curls with weights or laundry detergent bottles to build wrist strength. You will notice a difference in a few days with the hand/wrist workouts.

  14. Katrina says:

    Yay! love seeing your wedding pictures!

  15. megan says:

    Karen, if you’ve never tried old coffee grounds for an exfoliator try it out.. works AMAZINGLY well!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Rads says:

    Love your wedding photos!

  17. Trisha says:

    Your wedding photos are awesome! You look so beautiful. 🙂

    Also, I had no idea about #2. But it makes sense. I mean, that conditioner I wash out of my hair has to go somewhere…
    Trisha recently posted … Nobody is Quite Like You

  18. Joyce B says:

    Thank you for the wedding pictures, you looked beautiful.

  19. Sophie says:

    Aww, Karen, how sweet of you to let us see your wedding pics. You were a beautiful bride, and are still every bit as beautiful and lovely today!

  20. Audrey says:

    awww… thanks for sharing your lovely wedding photos, Karen! 😀

  21. gio says:

    Thanks for sharing your wedding photos. You look so happy and beautiful!
    gio recently posted … Interview with Marina from Makeup 4 All

  22. Harshleen says:

    Such beautiful pics and great tips of course! You look lovely…..
    Harshleen recently posted … Why You Should Avoid Skincare Products in Jar Packaging

  23. Larie says:

    I’d love a few recs on body sunscreens that I can use daily, too! The normal ones I use for heavy sun days (and sports, etc.) are too greasy to use every day!

  24. Marian says:

    awww……you look so pretty! Happy Anniversary, Karen. Mine is April 30th. 25 years for me!

  25. Cristy says:

    Wow Karen!! Beautiful!!! Tx for sharing!!
    Arriba Nena!! 😀

  26. Thanks for sharing these pics! You were a beautiful bride!

  27. Brooke says:

    Karen, your pictures are beautiful! Where did you get married? (sorry if I missed if you already said). My hub and I got married in Oahu in November and your flowers and scenery look very similar! Happy 6+ years to you and the hub! <3

  28. Tiffany says:

    Beautiful pictures!!

  29. Elle says:

    Happy Anniversary to you and El Hub! I love the pic of you guys together. You look so happy.

  30. Harpreet says:

    Karen, the day of the wedding is the most important day in a woman’s life. I also got married recently. A few months before my wedding, I started applying Parachute’s advanced body lotion. It made my skin supple and soft.

  31. Candice S says:

    How timely! I’m getting married this year. Thanks for the tips!

  32. Sandy says:

    Just wanted to let you know how gorgeous you looked on your wedding day 🙂

  33. Sandy says:

    Thanks for sharing your wedding pictures! You look so pretty!

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